Suicide Prevention Basics

Suicidality is a major public health problem that affects many Americans and their families every year. Suicidality ranges from suicide ideation (i.e., thoughts of suicide and making suicide plans) to suicide attempts to completed suicide. Gaining a better understanding of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults may help to identify individuals at risk for suicide, to inform the development of screening tools, and to inform mental health and general practitioners on treatment planning.

This section was designed as an introduction to suicide and suicide prevention. Visit these pages to get quick facts, information about risk factors, protective factors, warning signs, and seeking help.

Facts and statistics

Frequently asked questions about suicide

Understanding suicide data

Risk factors

Protective factors

Warning signs

What to do if you need help

Helping someone you know

What if someone needs help online?

Be prepared!

Click on the links below to download pocket and wallet size cards containing basic suicide prevention information.

Signs of distress and trouble coping

Suicide warning signs

Suicide risk assessment with question examples

National suicide prevention lifeline brochure